Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'll be away from internet access from 8/22 thru 9/2. SORRY, please check back!!

Insidious 2010

Insidious (2010)    A family moves into an old house, they begin to think it's haunted and their son falls into some type of coma.  Renai becomes too frightened to keep living in the house, she convinces Josh that they need to move.  Moving doesn't help and strange things start to happen in this house, Josh doesn't know what to think until his mother tells him she has seen things in a dream.
    A team is called in to investigate the house, they immediately call Elise who deals in paranormal activities.  The movie begins to derail when the team comes with unusual equipment that they have made themselves?  Elise has theories that are also unusual?  Either you believe all you are being told and shown or you think, what the heck?  3* (This movie is OK)

102 min, Horror, directed by James Wan with Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, Barbara Hershey.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 6.9 out of 10, 67% both critic and audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

In Therapy (Diva) 2009

    From Brazil, in Portuguese with English subtitles, Mercedes is a housewife of 40 who decides to try therapy.  She not really unhappy but just dissatisfied with life, she is married with two sons.  She has a wonderful friend Monica, they do a lot together.  Mercedes decides on a separation from her husband in order to go in a different direction.  This film requires more attention because of the subtitles but is enjoyable.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

93 min, Com/Drama directed by Jose Alvarenga, Jr. with Lilia Cabal, Reynaldo Gianecchini, Alexandra Richter, Jose Mayer, Caua Reymond, Eduardo Lago.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.5 out of 10, 62% listed for Diva and 20% listed for In Therapy on Rotten Tomatoes.


The Adjustment Bureau 2011

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)   David is a congressman but he's defeated in his bid for the senate, he's practicing his speech to concede and he meets Elise in the hallway.  Immediately they both feel a connection.  A month later he meets Elise again on a bus, she gives him her phone number.  Now enters a team called the Adjustment Bureau, they usually don't let people know they are messing with their lives but Elise and David are not supposed to be together.
    David rides the same bus every day for 3 years hoping to see Elise again,
he sees her walking and immediately gets off the bus to talk to her and explain why he didn't call.  Once again they are separated by the Bureau until David sees an announcement in the paper that Elise is getting married.
    The on-screen chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt is good but the Adjustment Bureau seems so far out there for me that it is like an interruption in the movie instead of a basis.  3* (This movie is OK)

106 min, Sci-Fi directed by George Nolfi with Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Michael Kelly, Terence Stamp.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.1 out of 10, 72% critic 68% audience on Rotten Tomatoes

Friday, August 19, 2011

White Irish Drinkers 2010

White Irish Drinkers (2010)    This is a tough movie with a lot of drinking, life wasting, family fighting, friend fighting, brother fighting.  Fighting means punching in the face, blooding noses.  It all takes place in Brooklyn in 1975, angry abusive father, what can the mother do, two brother following different paths to get out of the neighborhood.  They have a chance to get some real money when the Rolling Stones book to come live to a local theater, one by working at the theater and one by stealing the money.
    You are rooting for both of the brothers and the mother, will both find the right path without going to jail or getting killed, will their mother ever have peace?  The father has a softer side but is it too late for him to change even just a little for the sake of the family?  3 1/2*  (I liked this movie)

109 min, Drama directed by John Gray with Nick Thurston, Geoffrey Wigdor, Karen Allen, Stephen Lang, Peter Riegert, Leslie Murphy.

Note:  Blockbuster 2 1/2*, imdb 5.7 out of 10, 44% critic 80% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In Therapy (Diva) 2009

    From Brazil, in Portuguese with English subtitles, Mercedes is a housewife of 40 who decides to try therapy.  She not really unhappy but just dissatisfied with life, she is married with two sons.  She has a wonderful friend Monica, they do a lot together.  Mercedes decides on a separation from her husband in order to go in a different direction.  This film requires more attention because of the subtitles but is enjoyable.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

93 min, Com/Drama directed by Jose Alvarenga, Jr. with Lilia Cabal, Reynaldo Gianecchini, Alexandra Richter, Jose Mayer, Caua Reymond, Eduardo Lago.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 6.5 out of 10, 62% listed for Diva and 20% listed for In Therapy on Rotten Tomatoes.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Winter in Wartime (Oorlogswinter) 2008

Winter in Wartime (2008)    The final winter of WWII in Holland, a young man becomes involved in the Dutch resistance.  Michiel and his friend discover a downed British plane in the woods, the Germans are in control of Holland and they quickly surround the scene of the crash.  Michiel's father is the Major of the town, the Germans want to know what Michiel was doing looking at the crash and who was with him? 
    Later, Michiel discovers the pilot hiding underground in the woods and he brings his nurse sister to help with the pilot's wounded leg.  This is becoming more involved, more people are getting shot by the Germans and somehow Michiel must get this pilot across the border to safety.

    This is good, you become really involved with the people which leads you to be on the edge of your seat rooting for them to succeed in spite of the Germans.  4*  (I really liked this movie)   
103 min, Drama directed by Martin Koolhoven with Martijn Lakemeier, Yorick van Wageningen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Melody Klaver, Raymond Thiry, Anneke Blok.
Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.1, 75% critic 74% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rango 2011

<SPAN id=   The characters are very original with a pet chameleon, armadillo, rattlesnake, iguana, cactus mouse, desert tortoise, mole, gila monster, rabbit, owl, raven and hawk.  The town is called Dirt and they really need water plus they are under the thumb of a power hungry Mayor.  This starts off very well, it's interesting but it seems too long and drawn out.  The newness seems to wear off and dissolve into the dirt!!  3* (This movie is OK)

107 min, animated, directed by Gore Verbinski with the voices of Johnny Depp, Isla Fischer, Ned Beatty, Bill Nighy, Timothy Olyphant.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.5 out of 10, 88% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Object of my Affection 1998

The Object of My Affection (1998)    Nina is always being "set up" by her stepsister, her current boyfriend is never good enough for Constance, Nina's job has to be more than social-worker.  Nina meets George at one of the "set ups" and offers him the spare room in her apartment since he's just been dumped by his boyfriend.  Nina finds out she's pregnant, she doesn't want to marry Vince, she asks George to help her raise her child.  Soon she realizes she's in love with George but this is never going to work.  As soon as her daughter Molly is born, she determines to move on. 
    Fast forward about 5 years, Nina is seeing a policeman who helped her when her purse was stolen, George is seeing Paul, Vince is still in the picture as Molly's father, Constance has her hands full with her teenage daughter.  This is enjoyable, Aniston seems better in her role rather than seeming to always play herself.  Somewhat predictable but plenty going on with the ensemble cast.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

111 min, Drama directed by Nicholas Hytner with Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Alan Alda, Allison Janney, Steve Zahn, Nigel Hawthorne, Kali Rocha.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 5.9 out of 10, 50% critic 53% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Roommate 2011

The Roommate (2011)    Rebecca is the roommate from hell, she digs her fingernails into Sara's arm and clings both emotionally and physically.  Anyone else in Sara's life is fair game for physical and mental abuse.  Stay away from Sara or else!! 
    The only good thing I can say about this film is that it's a great advertisement for physical beauty and nothing else.  It's boring, everyone looks the same, the only difference is male or female.  The scary is not scary, the suspense is not, freak is not there either.  What's left?  Nothing!!  This is a complete waste of time unless you want to just see physically perfect perfect people, is that enough?  0* (more than hated)

91 min, Mys directed by Christian E. Christiansen with Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigadet, Alyson Michalka.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 4.0 out of 10, 4% critic 30% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Prime Suspect 2: 1993

Prime Suspect 2 (1993)    The body of a girl is discovered under patio concrete and the murder took place several years prior to the discovery.  Many questions, not many answers, a lot of investigating along with racial tensions among the team and the community.  Finally, facts come into place, the residents of the flat at the time are located, a clay cast is made to provide a description of the victim and there is a confession. 
    Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison has doubts about the confession, some of the facts are missing or inaccurate plus this is a death bed admission.  It doesn't help that an ambitious politician hopes to use the case as a stepping stone to higher office.  A chewing out is in order if this case doesn't proceed smoothly and quickly!!
    This is good, Jane Tennison knows her job and she's not about to let other people on the force decline to do their jobs.  Slowly the clues start to build but will you be able to guess who is the killer?  4* (I really liked this movie)

208 min, Mys directed by Joh Strickland with Helen Mirren, Colin Salmon, John Benfield, Jack Ellis, Craig Fairbrass, Richard Hawley, Philip Wright, Ian Fitzgibbon.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 8.3 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Wildest Dream 2009

The Wildest Dream (2009)    American climber Conrad Anker teams with British mountaineer Leo Houlding to retrace the climb of Mount Everest by George Mallory and Sandy Irvine in 1924.  It was the age of adventure and exploration, it's never been known if Mallory and Irvine made it to the top since they didn't come back.  They discover Mallory's body and they feel that he and Irvine were able to make it to the top.  The current climb is accompanied by the reading of the letters Mallory sent to his wife during his climb.
    Mountain climbing is difficult to understand if you are not a participant or fan of the sport.  The suffering, the endurance required, the magnitude of the endeavor, the risking of life, is all this worth the climb of a mountain?  This film is good and you see both climbs unfold, you feel like you are also along with them without the hardships.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

94 min, Doc directed by Anthony Geffen, narrated by Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Hugh Dancy, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson, with Conrad Anker, Leo Houlding.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.3 out of 10, 81% critic 71% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

True Grit 2010

True Grit (2010)     A man is killed, his horse stolen and also two gold pieces are stolen.  Amazingly, his 14 year old daughter, Mattie Ross sets out to track this man and make things right.  She bargains better than a man with the gentleman who sold her father horses.  He orders the stable boy not to utter her name since he doesn't want to see or think about her again!!  She hires aging U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn to help her get her man.  A Texas Ranger, Mr. LaBoeuf also sets out with Cogburn and they are on the pursuit without Miss Ross.  She has other plans, joins up with them and proves that she can handle herself on the trail.  Cogburn and LaBoeuf have "grit" but she does as well.
    This is very good, I saw this in the theater when it was first released and then again on DVD.  I noticed that you can appreciate the differences in their spoken language during this time period when you see it the second time.  They have more eloquence to their speech than we do today.  There is plenty of action also.  4* (I really liked this movie)

110 min, Western directed by Joel and Ethan Coen with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld, Barry Pepper.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.9 out of 10, 96% critic 86% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act 2006

Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act (2006)    Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison is on her last case before retirement, she's struggling with alcoholism, professionalism and the imminent death of her father from cancer.  A teenage school girl has been killed, Jane must get herself under control and solve this case.  There are the parents to deal with, the search of the area and interrogation of the friends.  Her colleagues and boss are worried that she's lost her edge, her personal struggles are hampering the case, especially the drinking.
    This is good and Helen Mirren is very good in this role.  She allows herself to look very old at times and worn out.  You can feel the struggles and you're rooting for her to conquer the alcohol and not let it win.  All the time you are wondering, as she is, if her career has been worth her personal losses, no friends, no relationship with her sister and niece.  What will she do without her career, it's been her life?  This is a very powerful drama.  4* (I really liked this movie)

184 min, Crime directed by Philip Martin with Helen Mirren, Stephen Tompkinson, Eve Best, Katy Murphy, Tom Bell, Laura Greenwood, Gary Lewis, Frank Finlay.

Note:  Blockbuster 4 1/2*, imdb 8.5 out of 10, 100% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Source Code 2011

Source Code (2011)    A bomb has blown up a Chicago train, Army Captain Colter Stevens is able to enter the body of a mail passenger who has died in the explosion.  He's there for 8 minutes to find out information about who planted the bomb, where is it located and how is it detonated.  There is a second explosion planned and this is the only way to try and stop the destruction and loss of life.
    OK, the concept is very sci-fi involving time-travel and very sophisticated methods but the film keeps going back to the same train with just a little more information gathered each time.  It feels like sci-fi but with horse and buggy filming.  Isn't there another way to show what's going on and what they are doing without going back over and over again?  After the second go back, you don't want to ever go back again, you don't care anymore about the bomb or anything about it, just get on with it already!!  Additionally, I like Vera Farmiga as an actress but her talents are wasted in her role.  3*  (This movie is OK)

94 min, Sci-Fi directed by Duncan Jones with Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.6 out of 10, 91% critic 82% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shroud for a Nightingale 1984

Shroud For a Nightingale (1984)    Nightingale House is a hospital with a nursing program.  They have a new patient with an abdominal aneurysm admitted for surgery.  He's a suspected arms dealer and a top witness for his trial has been killed.  Now things are happening at the hospital, a nurse is murdered during an demonstration with Commander Dalgliesh as a witness.  This case isn't solved when another nurse is found dead and the arms dealer dies from a second surgery. 
    Are the deaths related, what does the arms dealer have to do with the two student nurses?  The case will not be quickly resolved but the questioning of a very egotistical surgeon is very revealing.   Dalgliesh acts on a hunch that the surgeon is lying and this pays off with the truth.  Extreme rudeness in the questioning by Dalgliesh doesn't cause the surgeon to rise to the bait with an angry outburst. 
    This film offers a lot of insights into the methods used to obtain information from possible perpetrators.  Commander Dalgliesh is never upset, maybe in a hurry but emotion doesn't get in the way.  I have also discovered that it is very difficult to guess who is the murderer, you don't have all the clues until much later in the film.  4* (I really liked this movie)

251 min, Mys directed by John Gorrie with Roy Marsden, Joss Ackland, John Vine, Sheila Allen, Liz Fraser, Thelma Whiteley, Andree Evans, Rosalyn Elvin, Natalie Ogle.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.9 out of 10, 100% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Trust 2010

Trust (2010)    This is a difficult film to watch because of the subject.  A typical family is devastated by a crime committed against their teenage daughter by a man she met on the internet.  Annie is 14 and she feels invisible to the kids at school and her family.  This isn't really true but the teen years can be very difficult, someone sending wonderful messages and talking everything nice to you is easy to believe. 
    Annie thinks Charlie is her age but just a little older, then he reveals that he's in college and 20 but when they meet at the Mall she discovers he's 35 instead!!  She's angry in the beginning but he has his plan in place and he's sticking to it with the soothing words.  Soon the police and the FBI are involved, her father is taking this very hard, he wants to beat up and shoot anyone who fits Charlie's description.  Counseling helps but it's difficult to go through the waiting process when you want immediate justice.   Sometimes this seems hard to believe but then you think, this has probably happened many times and it must be true?  3* (This movie is OK)

106 min, Drama directed by David Schwimmer with Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Liana Liberato, Viola Davis.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.1 out of 10, 78% critic 63% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Music Never Stopped 2011

The Music Never Stopped (2010)    A conservative father doesn't understand his teenage son during the 60's, they have a falling out over his music and the burning of an American Flag.  Gabriel storms out of the house and they don't see him again for 20 years.  He's been homeless, they don't know for how long and he has a brain tumor which was long neglected.  The tumor has spread causing all of his memories both from the past and new memories to be erased except for the period of the 60's.
    Gabriel only comes alive when he hears the music he loves but his father hates this music.  They do work together to find common ground but the movie see saws back and forth from very down to upbeat.  The characters seem weak and you can't find the empathy for Gabriel that you need to involve yourself in his story.  3* (This movie is OK) 

105 min, Drama, directed by Jim Kohlberg with J.K. Simmons, Lou Taylor Pucci, Cara Seymour, Julia Ormond, Tammy Blanchard, Mia Maestro.

Note:  Blockbuster 3*, imdb 7.0, 65% critic 92 audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Rio 2012

Rio (2011)    Blu is a macaw who was raised from a baby in Moose Lake by Linda, he was originally smuggled from his nest.  They receive a visit from an ornithologist who has a female bird like Blu in Rio de Janerio.  He wants Blu to come for a visit since they are the last two birds of their kind.  Soon after their arrival, the birds become victims of a bird smuggling ring and another complication is that Blu doesn't know how to fly?  How can Blu be reunited with Linda?
    This is good, the birds are funny, Linda is overprotective as a human bird mother, the ornithologist is definitely geeky and there are bad birds out there too.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

96 min, Animated directed by Carlos Saldanha with the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, , Jamie Foxx, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Mann, Jane Lynch, George Lopez.

Note:  Blockbuster 3 1/2*, imdb 7.1 out of 10, 72% critic 75% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sad Cypruss 1989

Sad Cypress Poster
    Elinor Carlisle and Roddy Welman (distant cousins) are happily engaged to be married.  Elinor receives an anonymous letter claiming that someone is trying to gain the affections of her wealthy aunt Laura Welman.  Laura is bedridden at her home after a stroke and both Elinor and Roddy believe they will inherit a large fortune.  They visit Laura to see what's going on and discover Mary Gerrard, the gardener's daughter is the center of attention.  Events move along rapidly with Roddy falling in love with Mary, Laura dies and then Mary dies, Elinor is convicted of murder and sentenced to hang.
    Hercule Piorot is on the case from the beginning and suspects there is more to the letter than anyone else believes.  He doesn't see any solution until he starts having nightmares about the case.  This is one of the best in the earlier Piorot series.  You want to believe that Elinor is not guilty but will anything be discovered before her sentence is carried out?  4* (I really liked this movie)

94 min, Mys directed by David Moore with David Suchet, Elisabeth Dermot Walsh, Rupert Penry-Jones, Kelly Reilly, Paul McGann, Phyllis Logan, Marion O'Dwyer.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.7 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Taken at the Flood 1989

Product Details    A family hires Poirot to prove that a widow's missing first husband might not be dead after all.  They are upset because she holds her late husband's fortune and her brother forces her to be tight with the purse strings.  If they can prove her first husband is alive, they can have all the money and show she is a bigamist. 
    Many people involved in this mystery and at first you wonder even who is the dead man?  A lot of twists and turns with many surprises to be revealed.  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

93 min, Mys directed by Andy Wilson with David Suchet, Jenny Agutter, Patrick Baladi, Eva Birthistle, Elliot Cowan, Amanda Douge, Penny Downie, Richard Durden.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.3 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Harold and Maude 1971

Harold and Maude (1971)    Rich boy Harold keeps staging elaborate fake suicides to get the attention of his mother.  His favorite thing to do is attend funerals for people he doesn't know.  He goes to a junk yard, buys a hearse and fixes it up to drive to the funerals.  He meets 79 year old Maude at one of the funerals, he's low key but she doesn't know how to be low key in everything. They strike up a friendship, Harold finds there can be an entirely different way to live your life.  Cat Stevens music is the soundtrack. 
    This is very funny and is very good.  Maude has an unusual style of driving and she doesn't believe in driver's licenses?  4* (I really liked this movie)

91 min, Comedy directed by Hal Ashby with Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack, Charles Tyner, Ellen Greer, G. Wood, Susan Madigan, Jerry Randall.

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 8.0 out of 10, 85% critic and 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Mystery of the Blue Train 1989

    Hercule Poirot is introduced to Katherine Grey, she recently inherited money and greedy relatives have come out of the woodwork.  He also meets heiress Ruth Kettering and the three of them soon travel on the Blue Train from Calais to Nice.  Ruth's husband is on the train along with her boyfriend and Ruth has asked Katherine to change compartments.  Right away, I'm thinking that either Ruth or Katherine will be murdered and will it be the wrong person!!
    Ruth is murdered and the suspects are rounded up plus an attempt is made to kill Katherine.  Now the questions begin, who is the killer, what is the motive, I can't give to much information, don't want to be a spoiler!!  3 1/2* (I liked this movie)

120 min, Mys directed by Hettie Macdonald with David Suchet,  James D'Arcy, Alice Eve, Micholas Farrell, Bronagh Gallagher, Tom Harper, Jane How. 

Note:  Blockbuster 4*, imdb 7.4 out of 10, not listed on Rotten Tomatoes.